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McHenry High School celebrates seniors with Decision Day events

East Senior Maria Bowers

About 100 McHenry High School - East Campus seniors solidified commitments to their future plans May 1 in front of school staff, students and families as part of the school’s first Decision Day celebration.

Seniors sat at tables in the school’s main gym and signed paperwork to attend college, enter job training or join a branch of the U.S. military, while representatives of several colleges and businesses welcomed them to their future. May 1 is recognized as Decision Day nationwide for high school seniors.

For McHenry High School, the event is not only a celebration of seniors but also a way to encourage younger students to start thinking about the future.

“You will be down here on this floor,” East Campus Principal Jeff Prickett said. “When the time comes, you will be ready.”

This was the first Decision Day event at East Campus, and school officials plan to make it an annual tradition. West Campus administrators are looking to do a similar event next year.

This year at West Campus, seniors who made commitments to college or career plans were honored at a recent senior meeting. A banner signed by seniors with their future plans will be on display in the West Campus cafeteria.

For East Campus senior Maria Bowers, Decision Day took on even more significance when she accepted an $80,000 check to help her future education costs. Bowers plans to enter the U.S. Army National Guard while taking ROTC training and studying medicine.

Bowers, one of several seniors to join the military, said she was glad for the recognition of Decision Day.

“It’s going to pave the way for next year’s seniors, and those after,” she said.

In addition to school administrators, students and staff, several parents came to the event to watch their seniors be recognized.

“It’s a great idea to show the support,” said Patty Finlon, whose son Jonathan is set for training to join the U.S. Marines.

Rosie Garwood said her son, Matt, is excited to be going to Illinois State University and Decision Day is a good way to honor the seniors.

“I thought it was very encouraging,” she said.